JCB to leave CBI ‘over lobby group’s anti-Brexit stance’

JCB to leave CBI ‘over lobby group’s anti-Brexit stance’

Lord Bamford

Construction equipment manufacturer JCB has resigned as a member of the CBI amid reports that the firm was unhappy with the lobby group’s anti-Brexit stance.

A spokesperson for JCB, which employs close to 6,500 people in the UK and sells to 150 countries, confirmed that the company had ended its membership of the CBI, but did not give reasons why.

It is understood that JCB will remain a member of the CBI until the middle of 2017, when its fee is due for renewal.

Sky News had earlier reported that the decision was due to the group’s response to the referendum outcome.

Analysis commissioned by the businesses group ahead of the referendum warned that leaving the EU could cost the economy £100 billion and 950,000 jobs by the end of the decade.

However, JCB’s chairman, Lord Bamford, was a prominent supporter of the Brexit campaign.

During the campaign he said: “The UK is the world’s fifth largest trading nation. We therefore have little to fear from leaving the EU.”

He also wrote to his 6,500 UK employees to explain why he favoured a vote to leave the European Union, saying he was “very confident that we can stand on our own two feet”.

A CBI spokesman said: “It’s always a shame to see any member leave the CBI, but we recognise that businesses have competing priorities and we respect that.”

A spokesperson for JCB said only: “I can confirm that JCB is ending its membership of the CBI.”

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